Fishing in Minnesota

Minnesota is known for its fishing. Hoping to break the state record for largest walleye? (17 pounds!) Want to reel in a whopping two pound Bluegill Sunfish? Whatever your preference, there are plenty of fish left in the waters so you can drop a bobber, hook the big one, and create your own fish stories!

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Some of our favorite parks for awesome fishing opportunities:

state map showing this park's locationBear Head Lake State Park
Walleye, bass, crappies, and trout are abundant in this Northwoods setting.

state map showing this park's locationBeaver Creek Valley State Park
Clear streams home to brown and brook trout.

state map showing this park's locationBig Bog State Recreation Area
Panfish, walleye, and trophy northern pike, plus a new accessible fish cleaning house.

state map showing this park's locationFather Hennepin State Park
Touted as the "Walleye Capital," Mille Lacs Lake is the state's second largest lake.

state map showing this park's locationFort Snelling State Park
Minutes from the metro area, great fishing is abundant all around this state park.

state map showing this park's locationGlendalough State Park
A steady supply of large sunfish and crappies for the frying pan, along with large bass for the camera.

state map showing this park's locationRed River State Recreation Area
Catch some catfish in the rich waters of the Red River.

state map showing this park's locationMaplewood State Park
Eight major lakes and numerous ponds offer a fishing bounty.

state map showing this park's locationZippel Bay State Park
Outstanding walleye, sauger, bass, perch and muskie abound in Lake of the Woods.

state map showing this park's locationWhitewater State Park
An angler's paradise with brown, brook, and rainbow trout.


Fishing with your family

Tips and tricks that will help even the littlest ones hook the big fish, and to ensure the whole family enjoys the whole experience:

  • Plan to have fun and remember to bring a camera.
  • Choose fishing spots with a high likelihood of success. Catching a small fish is still catching a fish! Try for bluegill, perch or bullhead. (Learn where, when, and how the fish bite This link leads to an external site.)
  • Use live bait to increase the chance of catching a fish. (Live bait is more interesting to kids, too.)
  • Pick a place that is comfortable, safe, and easy to get to—public fishing piers are a great place to start. (Find a fishing pier This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it.)
  • Bring snacks!
  • Remember the basics: sunscreen, insect repellent, and a first aid kit.
  • Provide kids with simple tackle in working order.
  • Start with realistic expectations. With short attention spans, kids may want to move onto something else after a very short time.
  • Have patience!

Need more family fishing ideas? Try MinnAqua.